by Al Cameron
January 22, 2014, LIVERPOOL, N.S. (ISN) – The Honey Badgers are coming on strong at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.
Jessica Daigle’s New Brunswick women’s team from Fredericton (third Cathlia Ward, second Natalie Menzies, lead Katie Forward, coach Mark Ward) adopted the nickname of the stubborn animal — check out the video on youtube — at last year’s Canadian Juniors in Fort McMurray after rallying from a slow start to the event.
A year later, another slow start — New Brunswick lost twice on opening day — and the honey badgers are still scrapping in pursuit of a Canadian championship.
New Brunswick opened its championship pool round-robin on Wednesday morning with an 8-3 win over Quebec’s Camille Boisvert (St-Romuald) as a blizzard raged outside Queens Place Emera Centre.
“We are definitely back in honey badger mode,” said a smiling Daigle, whose team improved to 4-3 and still alive for a playoff berth. “The name carried on, and we’re definitely back for the week. But it took a couple days. We had some bumps in the road; our first day was a little shaky. But we’ve built up from there, and going strong. Everybody is going in that upward motion, so we’re going with what we have now.”
Quebec dropped to 3-4 with the loss.
Eight women’s teams are still alive in the championship pool, while the other six are in the seeding pool to determine the final rankings and the seedings for the 2015 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Corner Brook, N.L.
“We woke up this morning feeling good, and we came out today and played just like we needed to,” said Daigle. “It feels good to come out strong like that.”
In seeding pool action, P.E.I.’s Veronica Smith (3-4, Cornwall) scored two in the 10th end for a 7-6 win over the Yukon’s Sarah Koltun (3-4, Whitehorse) and Newfoundland/Labrador’s Sarah Hill (2-5, St. John’s) was a 12-5 winner over the Northwest Territories’ Carina McKay-Saturnino (2-5, Inuvik).
The men’s championship round begins play later today. In men’s seeding round play, the Yukon’s Joe Wallingham (3-4, Whitehorse) turned back Quebec’s Adam Freilich (Montreal/Boucherville) 11-4, while Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stephen Trickett (3-5, St. John’s) beat the Northwest Territories’ Matthew Miller (2-6, Inuvik) 7-4.
Action at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors continues on Wednesday with draws at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Round-robin games are taking place at both Queens Place Emera Centre and the Liverpool Curling Club in the beautiful South Shore region of Nova Scotia.
Once the top three teams for each gender have been determined, all playoff games will be played at Queens Place Emera Centre. The women’s final is Saturday while the men’s final is Sunday Both finals will be televised live on TSN/RDS2 at 4 p.m. AST/3 p.m. EST.
For the second consecutive year, the competition format involves all 14 Member Associations of the Canadian Curling Association (10 provinces, plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).
This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2014juniors-fr/